Bleak Job Prospects for the Humanities

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I posted this on facebook, but figured it would be worthwhile to post it here as well.  The comments made by humanities academics in response to Rebecca Schuman’s Slateeditorial on Literature Ph.D.’s made me see red. I’m now thinking that every graduate student in the humanities should be required to take a statistics course. Listen folks, the fact that your department hired one or two people is anecdote and doesn’t get at the job market reality that freshly minted Ph.D.’s are facing. You have to go by the ratio of candidates on the market to available positions to say something meaningful on these matters. Likewise, the fact that you can find an exception to a generalization does not undermine the statistical validity of that generalization because curves aren’t defined by their outliers. I can’t tell you how often I hear folks in the humanities reject a statistical generalization…

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